Eluveitie is a band that has been weaving its folk-infused metal into the hearts of fans for almost two decades now through their unique aural style and vivid soundscape that captures many fans from the outset. Led by frontman and band founder Chrigel Glanzmann the band has built a solid following and to date has released seven studio albums, despite numerous line-up changes and setbacks. Ahead of the release of Eluveitie’s eighth studio album Ategnatos, Metal Wani’s Jake Patton had the opportunity to chat with Glanzmann to get the low-down on the album, including the work involved in writing an emotive and intense album, spontaneity and the tricks the band used to achieve quality in a more condensed recording process than normal, and whether the album title Ategnatos has a deeper meaning.
Eluveitie has always been a band that has embraced the emotive side of their folk-metal roots and Ategnatos that has continued that trend. Opening the discussion by talking about the emotive aspect of the album and whether channelling such raw energy caused any hiccups in the writing process Glanzmann offers “No it absolutely felt not difficult or something, I mean it’s one of the let’s say ‘quicker’ albums, I mean for most of our albums we have actually have been working longer than Ategnatos, ummm yeah everything kind of grew organically and fell into place. I would say the main driving force in the creative process was intuition, so we didn’t think too much and, so no it didn’t feel complicated or anything like that”.
While writing music can be a deeply personal thing, many artists might get themselves different goals with the release of each album. When asked about whether or not Eluveitie had any personal goals when creating Ategnatos, Glanzmann reassures that the band only goes into these processes to create the best music they can. “The only thing that really matters to me is that all the, all the feelings and all the emotions go into it and all the passion and all these things is what we focus on and what we want, so if there is a goal then that is the goal I would say – to make sure the album really does express what it is supposed to you know?”
Writing for music that is as layered as many of Eluveitie’s tracks is a difficult proposition, but somehow on Ategnatos Eluveitie has managed to harness the strength of their earlier releases and push that to the next level. When asked about whether or not the band revisited their earlier material, Glanzmann is quite articulate about seeing the similarities, but insists that although the band rediscovered earlier cuts of the album Slania while looking for material for its 10 year anniversary, that similarities between the songs are purely coincidental stating “I was asked for bonus material for the re-release of our album Slania, because you know it’s the albums 10th anniversary and there was just this idea of like re-releasing it as an anniversary edition, and Nuclear Blast asked me for bonus material and we thought that could be quite interesting to hear, or get our fans to hear the old demos that we recorded at home before we went to the studio to actually record Slania. Yeah so I just browsed through these old hard drives I had somewhere in the attic to look for and to go through these old demos, these homemade demo recordings of the songs that went on Slania back then and when I did so that’s when I kind of realised the new songs that we just wrote, or were writing for Ategnatos, that there was something about these songs that reminded me of much of the songs on Slania, and that a lot of songs on Ategnatos could be on Slania or the other way around. But as I said, that wasn’t intentional. I basically just noticed when I was through all these old recordings again”.
Composing an album that involves nine members and various instruments on it would be perceived by many as an intimidating task, and it is something which Eluveitie has taken their time in completing in the past. For Ategnatos, the band was, unfortunately, working to a compressed time schedule ink the studio which was approximately half the duration that the band has previously been afforded, but Glanzmann insists that the band’s time in the studio produced some great spontaneity when finalising tracks. “We did leave a lot of things open when we went to the studio, and we left a lot of things open for spontaneous creativity and stuff, but some other things just kind of emerged due to the fact we had too little time to record “Glanzmann remarks when reflecting back on the studio time before outlining particular occurrences in which the bands spontaneous creativity helped shaped their new album.
Closing out the conversation by discussing Ategnatos itself as an album title, being the Gaulish word for ‘reborn’, and how the public may perceive this title in the wake of line-up changes that the band has experienced over the span of its career, Glanzmann acknowledges that people may interpret this as a statement about the band in the present, but insists that the title has nothing to do with the band’s line-up.